About Ian Drake

Ian Drake obtained his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2010. His teaching interests include the American judiciary and legal system, the U.S. Supreme Court and constitutional history, the history and contemporary study of law and society, broadly construed, and political theory. His recent research interests include the history of American constitutional law and private law, particularly tort and insurance law. Dr. Drake is currently conducting research on animal protection laws, First Amendment rights, and the politics of the treatment of animals used in industrial agriculture and scientific research. Prior to earning his Ph.D. in history, Dr. Drake practiced law in the areas of insurance and tort law.

Ian J. Drake is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Montclair State University.

Ian's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Ian:

Aya Gruber, "The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration" (U California Press, 2020)

June 2, 2024

The Feminist War on Crime

Aya Gruber
Hosted by Ian Drake

Aya Gruber, a professor of law at the University of Colorado Law School, has written a history of how the women’s movement in America has shaped the l…

Robert Louis Wilken, "Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom" (Yale UP, 2019)

February 20, 2024

Liberty in the Things of God

Robert Louis Wilken
Hosted by Ian Drake

Robert Louis Wilken, the William R. Kenan Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia, has written an intellectual…

Jacob Mchangama, "Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media" (Basic Books, 2022)

April 6, 2022

Free Speech

Jacob Mchangama
Hosted by Ian Drake

Jacob Mchangama, founder and director of the think tank Justitia, has written a one-volume history of freedom of thought, which ranges from the lone D…

Ruta Sepetys, "I Must Betray You" (Philomel Books, 2022)

March 14, 2022

I Must Betray You

Ruta Sepetys
Hosted by Ian Drake

Ruta Sepetys is an acclaimed “crossover” author (read by both young people and adults) of historical novels. In her latest novel I Must Betray You (P…

Jonathan W. White, "A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)

February 10, 2022

A House Built by Slaves

Jonathan W. White
Hosted by Ian Drake

Jonathan W. White, associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University, has authored a book that reveals the personability of Ab…

Seth Barrett Tillman, "What Oath (if any) did Jacob Henry take in 1809?: Deconstructing the Historical Myths"

December 23, 2021

What Oath (if any) did Jacob Henry take in 1809?

Seth Barrett Tillman
Hosted by Ian Drake

Seth Barrett Tillman, an associate professor of law at Maynooth University in Ireland, has written two revisionist articles about an incident from 180…

Eric Berkowitz, "Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West from the Ancients to Fake News" (Beacon Press, 2021)

November 29, 2021

Dangerous Ideas

Eric Berkowitz
Hosted by Ian Drake

Eric Berkowitz has written a short history of a censorship, a large topic that has been a phenomenon since the advent of recorded history. In Dangero…

Steven P. Brown, "Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation" (U Alabama Press, 2020)

November 23, 2021

Alabama Justice

Steven P. Brown
Hosted by Ian Drake

Steven P. Brown, professor of political science at Auburn University, has written a history of notable U.S. Supreme Cases and justices that hailed fro…

George Klosko, "Why Should We Obey the Law?" (Polity, 2018)

June 9, 2021

Why Should We Obey the Law?

George Klosko
Hosted by Ian Drake

In his new book Why Should We Obey the Law? (Polity Press, 2018), George Klosko, the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor of Politics at the Universit…

Richard Brookhiser, "Give Me Liberty: A History of America's Exceptional Idea" (Basic Books, 2019)

May 4, 2021

Give Me Liberty

Richard Brookhiser
Hosted by Ian Drake

In Give Me Liberty: A History of America's Exceptional Idea (Basic Books, 2019), Richard Brookhiser has written a history of an idea, liberty, using a…

Arthur Koestler, "Darkness at Noon," trans. Philip Boehm (Scribner, 2019)

April 5, 2021

Darkness at Noon

Arthur Koestler
Hosted by Ian Drake

Philip Boehm, who has translated over thirty books from German and Polish into English, has translated a recently discovered German manuscript Darknes…

Philip Mansel, "King of the World: The Life of Louis XIV" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

March 3, 2021

King of the World

Philip Mansel
Hosted by Ian Drake

Philip Mansel, a trustee of the Society for Court Studies and President of the Research Center of the Chateau de Versailles, has written a one-volume …

Robert J. Mrazek, "The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs" (Hachette, 2020)

February 10, 2021

The Indomitable Florence Finch

Robert J. Mrazek
Hosted by Ian Drake

Robert J. Mrazek, an author of eleven books and former congressman from New York, has written a gripping account of one the most determine heroines of…

Jeanne Safer, "I Love You, but I Hate Your Politics: How to Protect Your Intimate Relationships in a Poisonous Partisan World" (Bitback, 2019)

January 11, 2021

I Love You, but I Hate Your Politics

Jeanne Safer
Hosted by Ian Drake

We’ve all been there – the family dinners turned full-fledged political debates, the awkward chat in the kitchen at work, the difficulty of discussing…

Joseph David, "Kinship, Law and Politics: An Anatomy of Belonging" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

December 23, 2020

Kinship, Law and Politics

Joseph David
Hosted by Ian Drake

Joseph E. David, Professor of Law at Sapir Academic College in Israel, has written an intellectual history of the concept of belonging. David reviews…

Kimberley Brownlee, "Being Sure of Each Other: An Essay on Social Rights and Freedoms" (Oxford UP, 2020)

December 11, 2020

Being Sure of Each Other

Kimberley Brownlee
Hosted by Ian Drake

Kimberley Brownlee, a professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia, has written a monograph addressing her argument in favor a right …

John Yoo, "Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power" (All Points Book, 2020)

October 28, 2020

Defender in Chief

John Yoo
Hosted by Ian Drake

John Yoo, the Emanual S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, has written what he terms a surprising defens…

Kathryne M. Young, "How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School" (Stanford UP, 2018)

September 22, 2020

How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School

Kathryne M. Young
Hosted by Ian Drake

Kathryne M. Young, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has written a combination of a sociological study …

Richard Haass, "The World: A Brief Introduction" (Penguin, 2020)

May 18, 2020

The World

Richard Haass
Hosted by Ian Drake

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and foreign policy advisor to four U.S. presidents, has written a primer on international…

Michael Bobelian, "Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court" (Schaffner, 2019)

February 5, 2020

Battle for the Marble Palace

Michael Bobelian
Hosted by Ian Drake

Michael Bobelian has written a history of the nomination of Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968. In Battle for the Marble…

Stanley Fish, "The First: How to Think About Hate Speech" (One Signal, 2019)

December 30, 2019

The First

Stanley Fish
Hosted by Ian Drake

Stanley Fish is a well-known scholar regarding the First Amendment and free speech. In his latest book, The First: How to Think About Hate Speech, Cam…

Anthony Kronman, "The Assault on American Excellence" (Free Press, 2019)

October 25, 2019

The Assault on American Excellence

Anthony Kronman
Hosted by Ian Drake

Anthony Kronman, former dean of Yale Law School, has written an account of his view of the decline of the American university from a bastion of free i…

Theodore Dalrymple, "False Positive: A Year of Error, Omission, and Political Correctness in the New England Journal of Medicine" (Encounter Books, 2019)

October 17, 2019

False Positive

Theodore Dalrymple
Hosted by Ian Drake

Theodore Dalrymple is a retired physician in Great Britain, who has written an account of his year’s-worth of reading the New England Journal of Medic…

Violet Moller, "The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found" (Doubleday, 2019)

July 31, 2019

The Map of Knowledge

Violet Moller
Hosted by Ian Drake

Violet Moller has written a narrative history of the transmission of books from the ancient world to the modern. In The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Y…